Rookie Parker Kligerman Takes ARCA RE/MAX Series Title Fight to Kansas; To Make NASCAR Nationwide Series Debut too...... KANSAS CITY KS (9-24-09) - Apparently, an ultra-tight, down-to-the-wire ARCA RE/MAX Series championship points battle just...
Rookie Parker Kligerman Takes ARCA RE/MAX Series Title Fight to Kansas; To Make NASCAR Nationwide Series Debut too......
KANSAS CITY KS (9-24-09) - Apparently, an ultra-tight, down-to-the-wire ARCA RE/MAX Series championship points battle just isn't enough for rookie Parker Kligerman.
In addition to competing in the Kansas Lottery 150 Thursday, October 1 at Kansas Speedway, the 19-year-old Westport, Connecticut driver is slated to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Kansas in the Kansas Lottery 300 Saturday, October 3.
"I suppose you could say it's sort of a reward for how well we've done this season," Kligerman said from the open test at Rockingham.
"It will get the ball rolling for next year - get the seat warm; not for me, but for Brad Keselowski. "It's very exciting; that's for sure. I couldn't have imagined - say, a year ago - that I'd have the opportunity to race in the Nationwide Series. I didn't think I'd be fighting for a championship either, but here we are."
With just two ARCA events remaining in 2009, Kligerman trails current point leader Justin Lofton by just 25 points heading to Kansas. Despite the close title fight, Kligerman is not putting any extra pressure on himself regarding the double-header.
"No, no extra pressure. I'm excited more than anything. As far as the (ARCA) championship goes, it's the same thing we've always done - try and win races, lead laps and the championship will take care of itself. It's pretty straightforward.
"As far as the Nationwide deal, I'm not putting any pressure on myself for that either. I want to just enjoy it and learn everything I can."
Kligerman, for the most part, has a 'wait-and-see' attitude regarding his Nationwide debut.
"We'll see. I think Penske Racing will have a top-five, top-10 car. We know the equipment will be first class. It's really going to be up to me. It's a big step; we'll just see how it goes."
Kligerman's ARCA crew chief Chris Carrier will also serve as his crew chief for the Nationwide car.
Kligerman, who graduated from high school in late June, has proven to be a very quick study in 2009. With very little to no testing, and only two career stock car starts in 2008, the Penske Development driver leads with a season-high seven wins in 2009, the most for any rookie in the history of ARCA. In addition, Kligerman, who had never seen a dirt track before, won both mile-dirt races at Springfield and DuQuoin, becoming the youngest championship stock car race winner at either venue.
His only experience with Kansas Speedway was an on-line simulator program.
"A lot of the 1.5 mile tracks are the same-sort of the same design. You drive them sort of the same. Kansas Speedway is unique in that it gets a little bit slicker than some of the other tracks although it is a lot like Chicago. I think it will be a lot of fun. I think you'll be able to use the grooves up next to the wall down to the white line so I can't wait to get there."
Whichever groove Kligerman uses at Kansas, it's likely it'll be the quicker one.
Round 4 of Bill France Four Crown Comes Down to Kansas; Kligerman Leads Kansas marks the 4th leg of the 2009 Bill France Four Crown, a separate point fund within the 21-race ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule that tests drivers on a challenging combination of venues, including a dirt track (The Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, September 7), a road course (The South Jersey Building Trades 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park, September 13), a short track (The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic at Salem Speedway, September 19) and a speedway (The Kansas Lottery 150 at Kansas Speedway, October 1). Kligerman, after a victory at DuQuoin and second place finishes at New Jersey Motorsports Park and Salem, currently leads the Bill France Four Crown points over Justin Lofton and Frank Kimmel. Former Bill France Four Crown winners include Davey Allison, Kimmel, Tim Steele, Bob Keselowski, Jason Jarrett and Bill Venturini to name a few.
To add more intensity, the Kansas Lottery 150 will be a one-day show for the ARCA RE/MAX Series with practice scheduled from 9:00 to 11:00 AM local time followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 1:00 PM. The Kansas Lottery 150 is live on SPEED at 5:00 PM Eastern.